If someone were to ask me “what are the two most delicate foods to cook”, I would have to answer:
- French Omelets
I am not a professional chef, but in my opinion, in order to create the perfect crepe or French omelet, you will need a crepe pan. Let’s start by defining “What is a crepe pan?”
A crepe pan is a flat or round-bottomed pan that is shaped to effectively cook a thin crêpe or French omelet. They have shallow sides so that you can get under the crepe or omelet with a spatula or wooden crepe spoon.
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Why Use a Crepe Pan?
Crepe pans are mostly used to make crepes or omelets. When you cook crepes or French omelets you need a pan with low sides in order to get under your food to turn it without destroying it. Traditional French carbon steel crepe pans fit that need perfectly.
Why Use French Carbon Steel Crepe Pans?
The French have been making various carbon steel pans for hundreds of years. They have lots of experience in manufacturing carbon steel cookware. French carbon steel crepe pans are used extensively throughout some of the most famous restaurants in Europe. Their pans are just the best!
Types of Crepe Pans
Crepe pans can be made of stainless steel, ceramic, aluminum, copper, non-stick, cast-iron, and carbon steel. In my opinion, the best traditional crepe pans are made of carbon steel and are made in France.
Crepe Pan Designs
The most important design aspect of crepe pans are:
- The must-have low sides
- The handles should be welded instead of riveted.
The low sides of a crepe pan help in the turning process of the food being cooked. You do not have to struggle to get under your food in a good, low-sided crepe pan in order to turn your food.
The entire surface of a great crepe pan should be smooth and this includes the shallow sides. If the handle is riveted to the pan, then you have rivets on the inside surface of the pan which makes cleaning the pan a chore.
If the pan has rivets then it can be cumbersome to be able to get under the omelet or crepe in order to turn it over.
The handles on the Matfer Bourgeat crepe pan are welded. This provides a smooth inside surface that is easy to clean and also makes turning your food easier without the obstruction of the rivets. I really like this pan!
I prefer carbon steel crepe pans made in France. Carbon Steel pans do not have harmful coatings that could come off and get into your food. The temperature of carbon steel pans can be easily regulated and controlled during your cooking process.
Being able to control the temperature of your crepe pan is critical for perfect omelets or crepes. Since crepes and French omelets are very thin, the temperature of the pan is critical so that crepes or omelets are not overcooked. Crepes are best made in crepe pans, but French omelets can be made in either a crepe pan or an omelet pan. If you are using an omelet pan, make sure the sides are rounded as much as possible. I like the Vollrath pan for making French omelets if I don’t have my crepe pan handy.
The inside angle of your omelet pan should be as round as possible if you are cooking French omelets. This will help to slide the omelet out of the pan after it is folded.
When I use my crepe pan to create French omelets, I use a fork or small soft silicone spatula to turn and roll the omelet back on itself.
I like these spatulas because they have wooden handles which can be removed for cleaning. Perhaps their greatest benefit is that that they are small and extremely flexible. Some buyers did not like them because they were too flexible and they were not able to scrap the sides of the pans. To me, I need this flexibility in order to get under the edges of the omelet in order to carefully roll the omelet on itself. They are perfect and I would not use a harder silicone spatula.
There is no rating for these spatulas, but I don’t care…they are great. These high-temperature silicone spatulas can be found here at Amazon.
I usually use a special wooden spatula for turning my crepes. Beachwood is the best wood to look for when you are purchasing a crepe spatula. Check out this Beachwood crepe spatula here at Amazon. It has a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
Can I Use a Crepe Pan on an Induction Stove?
Carbon steel crepe pans work great on induction stoves. The thing to remember is that you want to use a carbon steel crepe pan because you need to be able to control the heat of the pan quickly. If you use a cast iron crepe pan it will hold the heat longer and therefore it will take a little longer to adjust the heat. When you first pour the crepe mixture into the pan, you want to be able to adjust the heat to find the correct temperature in order to produce the perfect crepe.
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When I make crepes, I usually ruin the first few crepes until I find the correct temperature that I am looking for. This is no big deal and I am prepared to initially ruin a couple of crepes to arrive at the temperature and crepe mixture that I desire.
Making crepes is more of an art rather than an exact science because of the number of variables that you have to deal with.
What is the Best Induction Cooktop for Crepe Making?
The gas stove is my preferred heat source for cooking many foods, including crepes. However, if I were to choose an induction stove, I would pick a single burner induction cooktop that is portable.
I especially like Duxtop 8100MC 1800W Portable Induction Cooktop Countertop Burner, Gold by Duxtop. This induction stove-top has an 1800 W burner and the temperature is adjustable.
I have seen this burner used in a lot of big box stores when they demonstrate food samples, so I know they will hold up well in your kitchen. You can use this burner indoors or outside if need be. There are more expensive induction stove-tops but this one will serve your purpose. You can find this induction stovetop here at Amazon.
Another nice feature of this induction burner is that it has an auto-pan detection circuit that will shut the unit automatically after 60 seconds if no cookware is detected.
When you use an induction stove-top, you have to make sure that your crepe pan is magnetic. Crepe pans that are made of carbon steel are perfect for induction stove-top burners. The Matfer Bourgeat crepe pan would work perfectly with this induction stove.
What is the Best Electric Crepe Maker?
If you do not want to fuss with a crepe pan, another idea would be to use an electric crepe maker. There are many choices to look at when shopping for electric crepe makers.
The electric crepe maker I like best is the Morning Star – Crepe Maker Pro – 13 Inch Crepe Maker & Electric Griddle – Non-stick Pancake Maker by Morning Star. This crepe maker has edges that are curved upward slightly to contain the crepe mixture.
This crepe maker is 13-inches in diameter and the cooking surface is non-stick. You can make crepes on it as well as making pancakes. The temperature is adjustable which will help you control the heat.
If you take a look at the picture, you will see two steel helper handles which will come in handy when you move it.
Do I Need Those “T” Shaped Crepe Spreaders?
If you use an electric crepe maker the answer is YES. If you use a carbon steel crepe maker you can get along without it because you can lift the pan to move the mixture around the pan while it is still liquid.
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What is the Best Oil for Making Crepes?
I have always had great success with using unsalted butter. It would be interesting to try coconut oil for a different taste. I would not use olive oil or any of the other oils other than butter and coconut oil. Here is a link to Amazon for the coconut oil I use.
How Thick Are the Vollrath, Matfer Bourgeat, and the de Buyer Pans?
The thickness of carbon steel pans is essential. Before you decide to purchase carbon steel cookware, it would be advised to look into the thickness of any pan you buy. Why? If you use very high heat in a carbon steel pan, the bottom of the pan can sometimes warp. I even have cast iron pans that have warped. This warping is not uncommon.
Is Carbon Steel Cookware Safe?
Carbon steel cookware is probably the safest cookware on the planet. It is made only from iron and carbon and contains NO toxic compounds or coatings.
A Carbon Steel Pan Seasoning Method that Actually Works
Seasoning by the two methods described in this article will be easy and will produce positive predictable results. You will see, in this article, that this method of seasoning just plain works!
Cast Iron Woks vs. Carbon Steel Woks
Here we look at the differences between the two most commonly used materials for woks, cast iron and carbon steel. We also look at the similarities between the two, and finally, which works best for you.
What is a Paella Pan?
Paella pans are wide and shallow to create maximum surface area, allowing liquids to evaporate and form as much crispy golden crust on the bottom as possible. This golden crust is called "socarrat".
Why Use Carbon Steel Cookware?
Carbon steel is the preferred choice by chefs around the world. Carbon steel pans can be made non-stick which will rival the best stainless steel and other coated non-stick pans. These pans are durable will last a life-time.